People who have had a concussion where they lost consciousness may be more likely to have some disability or limitations later in life—such as difficulty walking or limitations in the amount or type of work they can do—than people who have never had a concussion, according to a study published in the May 26, 2021, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.
“About 16% of all adults have experienced a concussion with loss of consciousness, and our study found that nearly half of those people are living with disability,” said study author Andrea L.C. Schneider, MD, PhD, of the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine in Philadelphia and a member of the American Academy of Neurology. “This substantial burden of disability suggests that research into how to better care for and improve the functioning of people with concussions over the long term should be a priority for both public health and for planning for individuals.”
The study involved 7,390 people with an average age of 58. People were asked if they had ever had a concussion with loss of consciousness. They were also asked questions about their ability to do daily activities such as eating and dressing, preparing meals and doing household chores, walking up steps and carrying heavy objects. Their grip strength was also tested to check for any disability in their arms. Disability was defined as having “some difficulty” or greater difficulty in an area.